In 2014, Protection International decided to look back at its work through the lens of a question: what is protection?
Throughout our journey we have learned that there is no simple answer to this question. Rather, than an HRD’s protection is like a puzzle: something that requires skills and persistence in solving. This report looks at some of the pieces in such a puzzle, and how these interlock to form a picture of PI’s work protecting defenders at risk throughout the world.
In it’s mission to improve the protection of human rights defenders, PI engaged with communities and individuals in 25 countries across 3 continents in 136 capacity building processes that ensure the development of sustainable protection strategies and security management tools. New innovative and collective community- based protection mechanisms were developed, such as protection networks established with the support of PI in Colombia and Guatemala, or using video as evidence in Indonesia.
PI researched the phenomenon of criminalization extensively in 2014, and in Guatemala a handbook was published to improve knowledge around the theme with local defenders and provide hands-on recommendations to criminalized defenders.
Finally, PI accompanied civil society in 9 countries across Africa and Latin America in 2014, striving to build public policies in line with international standards both for human rights defenders and journalists. Many challenges were encountered, especially when dealing with fluid political backgrounds; but an endorsement from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of our baseline standards for public policies on the protection of human rights defenders leave promise for future progress.
PI has built many blocks and assembled difficult puzzle pieces in 2014, often overcoming many operational difficulties: this is protection, and this is the impact of our work in 2014.